Educational Networking: A Novel Discipline for Improved K-12 Learning Based on Social Networks

  • Sarah GalvinEmail author
  • Christine Greenhow
Part of the Lecture Notes in Social Networks book series (LNSN)


Based on a systematic review of over a decade (2004–2019) of educational research on K-12 teaching and teacher learning with social media, this chapter reports on the state-of-the-art of social networking in education. Through analyzing 56 research articles, we address the following questions: (1) What social networking platforms are used by K-12 educators? (2) What specific features of those platforms are used by teachers and/or their students? (3) For what educational purposes do teachers adopt social networking? (4) What does learning look like in these spaces? This work contributes insights towards defining how educational networking benefits teachers both in the classroom and as a part of their professional development and challenges our perceptions of the role of educational networking in teachers’ informal learning. Few platforms are covered in depth in the literature (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Edmodo) with inconsistent exploration of specific features (e.g., liking, retweeting). We describe trends in depictions of teacher and student learning, noting the high reliance on self-reported changes in practice, motivation, and attitude. Further research is needed to explore the application of specific social networking features in educational contexts and to expand our understanding of meaningful learning and participation in educational networking spaces.


Educational networking Facebook K-12 education Social media Social networking Twitter 



Hashtag symbol


Mention symbol


English as a Foreign Language


Education Resources Information Center


Grade point average


Global Read Aloud


Information and communication technologies


Professional development


Professional learning network


Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses




Social networking


Social networking sites


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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